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The wing supports both the state of Illinois, the federal government and domestic operations by providing airland and airdrop capabilities. The unit also hosts the 182nd Air Support Operations Group, the 264th Combat Communications Squadron, and the Air National Guard Band of the Midwest—all of whom deploy overseas and within local communities to protect and serve the nation's citizens. Some of these missions include delivering humanitarian aid, aeromedical evacuation, tactical air control of aircraft, and fatality search and recovery.
The wing's total force Airmen have participated in countless missions, from Operation Jump Start to hurricane relief to Antarctica and more. Half of the unit's 52,000 flight mission hours since 9/11 have been dedicated to the support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Freedom's Sentinel and Inherent Resolve.
When Air National Guard units are not mobilized or under federal control, they report to the governor of their respective state, territory (Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands) or the commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard. Each of the 54 National Guard organizations is supervised by the adjutant general of the state or territory. Under state law, the Air National Guard provides protection of life, property and preserves peace, order and public safety. These missions are accomplished through emergency relief support during natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and forest fires; search and rescue operations; support to civil defense authorities; maintenance of vital public services and counterdrug operations.
The mission of the United States Air Force is to fly, fight and win—airpower anytime, anywhere.
To achieve that mission, the Air Force has a vision:
The U.S. Air Force is the world’s preeminent force in air, space and cyberspace. We maintain that distinction by maintaining our objective of global vigilance, reach and power and remaining true to our vision statement: The World’s Greatest Air Force—Powered by Airmen, Fueled by Innovation. Through shared values, key capabilities and upholding our Airman’s Creed, we continue to achieve our mission and aim high in all we do.
The Air Force has three core competencies: Developing Airmen, Technology-to-Warfighting and Integrating Operations. These core competencies make our six distinctive capabilities possible:
AIR AND SPACE SUPERIORITY: We continually build distinctive capabilities that enable joint forces to dominate enemy operations in all dimensions: land, sea, air and space.
GLOBAL PRESENCE: We pursue technological advances that allow us to attack anywhere, anytime, more quickly and with greater precision than ever before.
RAPID GLOBAL MOBILITY: We maintain and improve our ability to respond quickly and decisively anywhere we’re needed around the globe.
PRECISION ENGAGEMENT: We hone the application of selective force against specific targets, advancing the reliable use of military power with minimal risk or collateral damage.
INFORMATION SUPERIORITY: We advance data capabilities that allow joint force commanders to keep pace with information and incorporate it into a campaign’s plans.
AGILE COMBAT SUPPORT: We offer expert combat support across deployment and sustainment, including all permanently based and expeditionary forces. The common bond that unifies us all are the Core Values.
We live and serve with a commitment to three core values.
INTEGRITY FIRST: An Airman is a person of integrity, courage and conviction. They must be willing to control their impulses and exercise courage, honesty and accountability in order to do what is right even when no one is looking.
SERVICE BEFORE SELF: An Airman’s professional duties take precedence over personal desires. Every Airman is expected to have the discipline to follow rules, exhibit self-control and possess respect for the beliefs, authority and worth of others.
EXCELLENCE IN ALL WE DO: An Airman strives for continual improvement in self and service in order to propel the Air Force further and to achieve greater accomplishment and performance for themselves and their community.
The Air Force is divided into various operational command organizations that each focuses on a very distinct operational mission. The 182nd Airlift Wing belongs to one of the largest Air Force commands: Air Mobility Command (AMC). All units belonging to AMC are exclusively focused on the air transportation of personnel and equipment from all branches of service to deployed locations. To support their AMC operational mission, the 182nd Airlift Wing maintains and operates C-130H Hercules aircraft capable of transporting large amounts of personnel and equipment over long distances.
The Air National Guard's federal mission is to maintain well-trained, well-equipped units available for prompt mobilization during war and provide assistance during national emergencies (such as natural disasters or civil disturbances). During peacetime, the combat-ready units and support units are assigned to most Air Force major commands to carry out missions compatible with training, mobilization readiness, humanitarian and contingency operations such as Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraqi and Syria. Air National Guard units may be activated in a number of ways as prescribed by public law. Most of the laws may be found in Title 10 of the U.S. Code.
The Air National Guard provides almost half of the Air Force's tactical airlift support, combat communications functions, aeromedical evacuations and aerial refueling. In addition, the Air National Guard has total responsibility for air defense of the entire United States.
The Department of the Air Force is headquartered in the Pentagon, Washington D.C. The service is organized in nine major commands throughout the world which provide combat aircraft, airlift, refueling, reconnaissance and other support to the Unified Combatant Commands.
The Air Force also has more than three dozen field operating agencies and direct reporting units which directly support the mission by providing unique services.
Together with Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard forces, the United States Air Force is the best in the world.
The Secretary of the Air Force is Frank Kendall, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force is Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., the Vice Chief of Staff is Gen. David W. Allvin, and the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force is Chief Master Sgt. JoAnne S. Bass.